.Dr. Rael Bernstein Makes Orthodontics Affordable and Accessible

Voted Best Orthodontist

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As a youngster growing up in South Africa, Rael Bernstein was bashful, withdrawn and didn’t  excel with academics or athletics, but orthodontic treatment helped to change his life. Today he is Dr. Rael Bernstein, a successful orthodontist with a burgeoning practice in Santa  Rosa and Windsor, Bernstein Orthodontics. Known fondly as Dr. B to his patients, whose ages  range from 5 to 85, Dr. B has been a recipient of Best Orthodontist, Sonoma County for over 10-plus years.

dr rael bernstein, orthodontics
Dr. Rael Bernstein

“I am a recipient of orthodontic treatment myself,” Dr. B said. “As a kid, I was a shy, introverted  young man who really didn’t do well at school or sports.” His own orthodontist, Dr. Morris Fine,  taught the young Dr. B the value of applying effort, as in the more effort you put into something, including orthodontic treatment, the more reward you’ll get out of it. The Johannesburg native  said he applied this notion to his orthodontic treatment, which turned the process around, and  he was blown away by the accompanying life-changing results. “After my orthodontic treatment,  I had a new-found confidence,” Dr. B said. “This new confidence really helped me. I worked  harder in school, I did better in sports.” Dr. B, a former college rugby player, said studying  orthodontics resonated with him because of his personal orthodontic experience, and  consequently he decided he wanted to do the same for others.

Dr. B started practicing orthodontics about 27 years ago. He and his wife, Debora Rayhan, a  prosthodontist, moved to Santa Rosa when she accepted a position at a local practice. He then  started his practice from scratch working out of one rented room in a colleague’s dental office. At  the beginning, his wife moonlighted for him as an assistant, at the end of her patient day.  “She was my assistant, it was just the two of us,” he said. We worked very hard and still do–another lesson from my orthodontist. Through their hard work and word of mouth, the practice  started to grow, and Dr. B opened an office in Santa Rosa. 

bernstein orthodontics voted best, dentists in north bay

He opened a satellite office in Windsor in 2007, when he noticed many of his patients were  commuting from farther north locations and were driving hours and getting stuck in traffic. Dr. B is proud of the amazing people he gets to work alongside and feels blessed to have such  a wonderful, knowledgeable and passionate team. “We work efficiently together using unique  systems developed over the years, which allow me to really focus on clinical care.”

Dr. B, who parents two very active teenage daughters with his wife, keeps the focus on patients  and puts patient care at the center of the decision-making process. He also does what he can to  remove barriers associated with orthodontics, which he said can range from cost and insurance  issues to a patient’s comfort level in the dental chair. Dr B’s goal is to improve everyone’s quality of life by improving access to orthodontic care, while creating smiles that last a lifetime, using  modern and efficient techniques. 

Since he began his career in 1996, Dr. B has treated thousands of patients and along the way  received many 5 Star Google Reviews that speak for his work ethic and longevity in the  community: “I am glad I chose Bernstein Orthodontics to get braces,” Jennie said in a Google  review of Bernstein Orthodontics. “As an adult, I was embarrassed, but the staff have been  nothing but kind and helpful. I am recommending them to my friends and family.”

north bay bohemian best of 2023 logo

“Bernstein Orthodontics is a wonderful place,” said Kimberly in another Google review. “My  daughter and I both had braces treatment here. Dr. B was always available to answer any  question we had, and we could always get right in for an appointment if need be. The office is clean and well-decorated for kids and adults (if you’re still a big kid inside).”

Dr. B continues to push himself professionally and lectures to dental organizations, organizes  study clubs, has taught at local universities and has improved treatment techniques with a  patented bracket system, called the Bernie Brace. “I like to give back and share what we do  with as many as we can,” Dr. B said. 

Blessed to make a living at what loves to do, he also views himself very much as a member of  the communities he serves and gives back generously and meaningfully, a trait inspired by his  grandmother. In the past year, Dr. B sponsored Windsor’s summer evening concert series, the  CVNL Sonoma County Human Race in Santa Rosa and Windsor’s High school wrestling Championship Tournament. Bernstein Orthodontics also gave away more than 50 Free Cases of  braces to those patients without financial means or seeking a better quality of life and boosted  confidence. Some residents may recognize his name from helping in the design of the Sonoma  County Children’s Museum, where he donated resources to create a kid-friendly dental room  where the adorable Kyle the Crocodile lives. 

What’s the best part about practicing orthodontics for Dr. B? “By far it’s the reaction–mainly joy  and pride–patients and parents have when they see their smiles without braces for the first time. It’s one of the best feelings in the world, to see the boost in confidence our patients receive, and  it gives me great satisfaction that my team and I can remove the barriers to make this happen  for our patients.” 

Bernstein Orthodontics, 2245 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, 707-575-0600,  Bernstein Orthodontics, 8741 Brooks Road, South Windsor, 707-836-8360,  BernsteinBraces.com.

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